There will be a "significant" new tablet launch later this month at the CTIA Wireless 2011 trade show, a senior CTIA official said, though he stayed mum on the details.
Rob Mesirow, vice president of operations at CTIA, told PC Magazine he expects tablets to be a major product category at the trade show, which kicks off in Orlando, Fla., on March 22. "Tablets are just an extension," he said. "We'll start seeing a lot of extension devices. It's probably no accident that most of the new phones coming out will be able to tether 5-7 products to that phone. We're going to see a ton of tablets at this show."
So which companies will be behind the new gadget at CTIA? So far, only Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) and Samsung have reserved time for major press conferences at show, and Sprint executives have hinted at a tablet.
"We have a strong lineup of tablets this year," Steve Elfman, Sprint's president of network operations and wholesale, said Wednesday at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom conference. "We have the PlayBook from RIM (NASDAQ:RIMM) and we have a few others coming out as well from different manufacturers. Look for something from CTIA."
Sprint is set to offer Research In Motion's BlackBerry PlayBook with support for Clearwire's (NASDAQ:CLWR) mobile WiMAX network sometime this summer.
The CTIA tablet announcement will come on the heels of the launch of Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad 2, which goes on sale March 11 with built-in connections to AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) and Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ).
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